Younger Fitzpatrick keen to match success of his big brother after winning Sheffield Plate over home course
By ECG Newsdesk
Alex Fitzpatrick has set his sights on emulating older brother Matt after racking up his biggest win to date.
The 17-year-old, who caddied for Matt in his US Amateur Championship victory in 2013, held off Lindrick’s Jamie Sheppard to win the prestigious Sheffield Plate by five shots over his home course, Hallamshire. Afterwards, he admitted that he would love to follow in the footsteps of his older sibling, right, who has won twice on the European Tour in the last year and is on track to make his Ryder Cup debut for Europe at Hazeltine later this year.
“I would love to be like Matt,” admitted Alex after getting his hands on the trophy. “For all young golfers, he is somebody to look up to and I’m lucky he is my brother who is there to help me.”
Fitzpatrick demonstrated great course management and maturity in winning the Sheffield Plate. With long rough hindering the progress of many of the field, the England U16 international plotted his way down the fairways with uncharacteristic conservatism to card matching one-under par 70s in both morning and afternoon rounds.
Widely regarded as one of the longest hitters on the local scene, he contained his usual approach and resisted the temptation to reach for the driver. “I played within myself today because the rough here is brutal,” he added. “There were a lot of rescue clubs off the tee.
“I was consistent today thanks to being conservative, playing steady golf and keeping it in play. The key, though, was holing putts from six feet and in which is something that I did well all day.”
This year’s Sheffield Plate was the 25th played over the Hallamshire course, where the home club has produced the last three winners. Last year fellow England U16 player Barclay Brown became the youngest winner aged 14, while in 2014 Greg Tickell lifted the plate.